Harden's National Guide 2022: Restaurant Sat Bains, Purnell's and Da Terra shine in Harden's top 100 list

The Staff Canteen

Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham HAS TOPPED the 100 best restaurant list in the 2022 edition of Harden's Best UK Restaurants Guide, released today

Purnell's in Birmingham and Da Terra in London followed in second and third positions. Collated on the basis of 30,000 reviews by 3,000 contributors, the restaurant guide is now in its 31st year of publication.

Two Michelin-starred Restaurant Sat Bains was opened by Sat Bains and his wife Amanda 20 years ago in a converted red-brick motel tucked away under a flyover off the A52. But despite its unusual surroundings, the Harden's guide said, it remains “Just outstanding in every way. Once you find it, you will keep going back for more."

'Resilience and creativity'

Peter Harden, co-founder of the guide, said, “Sat Bains has been a leader of the national restaurant scene for more than a decade now, and his lockdown curry service is a superb example of the resilience and creativity demanded of the sector to survive the pandemic – qualities the best restaurants still need as we emerge from this national trauma.”

Under an hour's drive away from Restaurant Sat Bains is the number two restaurant, Purnell's. This guide shows evidence of the Midlands’ high level of culinary achievement, with Alchemilla also in Nottingham, Adam’s and Opheem in Birmingham, and Hambleton Hall in Rutland also ranked in the top 100.

While Greater London accounts for roughly half of the total entries, Edinburgh takes the crown as the UK's leading city beyond London with 14 listings in the top 500. It is followed by Brighton with 11, Birmingham with 9, and Manchester with 7.

North Yorkshire tops the list of counties with 17 of the top 500 listings.

Types of cuisine

About a third of the establishments in the guide list their cuisine as "Modern British", a catch-all description for the fact that techniques and ingredients from every corner of the globe may be found in the contemporary restaurant kitchen.

Along with that, since Harden's last survey, in 2020, the number of "fish and seafood" specialists rose from 151 to 158. In a similar vein, the number of "Japanese" establishments increased from 73 to 85. 

The guide also notes a rise in African cuisine as a new basis for fine dining restaurants in London. It notes that "it feels like London may again sit at the forefront of a trend to take a family of cuisines mostly celebrated for their humble, homespun qualities… and reposition their flavour palette as the basis for luxury openings globally."

The TOp 100

1           Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham            
2           Purnells, Birmingham         
3           Da Terra, Town Hall Hotel, London                       
4           Endo at Rotunda, London              
5           Core by Clare Smyth, London                   
6           Lympstone Manor, Exmouth                      
7           Ynyshir Restaurant and Rooms, Eglwys Fach                 
8           La Dame de Pic London, London              
9           Mana, Manchester              
10         The Five Fields, London     
11         Winteringham Fields, Winteringham                     
12         Kitchen Table, London                    
13         Sorrel, Dorking                    
14         Alchemilla, Nottingham                   
15         Little Fish Market, Brighton 
16         Moor Hall, Aughton
17         The Clove Club, London                 
18         The Art School, Liverpool               
19         L’Enclume, Cartmel            
20         The Peat Inn, Cupar            
21         Anglo, London                     
22         Ormer Mayfair by Sofian, Flemings Mayfair Hotel, London                    
23         The Kitchin, Edinburgh                   
24         Muse, London                      
25         The Small Holding, Goudhurst                   
26         Hunan, London                    
27         Nobu, Metropolitan Hotel, London 
28         Fraiche, Oxton         
29         Adam's, Birmingham                       
30         The Clock House, Ripley                
31         So LA, London                     
32         Hambleton Hall, Hambleton           
33         Aulis London, London                     
34         Northcote, Langho              
35         Le Cochon Aveugle, York  
36         The Forest Side, Grasmere
37         Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, Great Milton                 
38         Morston Hall, Morston                    
39         Waterside Inn, Bray            
40         Adam Reid at The French, Manchester    
41         The Sportsman, Seasalter             
42         Chez Bruce, London           
43         Scully, London                     
44         Pied à Terre, London                      
45         LPM (fka La Petite Maison), London                     
46         Lumière, Cheltenham         
47         Trinity, London         
48         St John Smithfield, London
49         Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen, Port Isaac              
50         Cornerstone, London                      
51         Behind, London                   
52         Le Gavroche, London         
53         The Whitebrook, Restaurant with Rooms, Whitebrook               
54         The Fordwich Arms, Fordwich       
55         Le Champignon Sauvage, Cheltenham    
56         Hjem, Wall               
57         House of Tides, Newcastle upon Tyne                 
58         The Angel, Hetton   
59         Cail Bruich, Glasgow          
60         Allium at Askham Hall, Penrith                  
61         Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh                  
62         Osip, Bruton             
63         The Ninth London, London            
64         A Wong, London                 
65         Benares, London                 
66         Lyle's, London                     
67         Pollen Street Social, London                      
68         Trivet, London                     
69         Amaya, London                   
70         Raby Hunt, Summerhouse             
71         Skosh, York             
72         Jamavar, London                
73         Portland, London                 
74         Outlaw's New Road, Port Isaac                 
75         John's House, Mountsorrel
76         Mere, London                      
77         Murano, London                  
78         Midsummer House, Cambridge                 
79         Gravetye Manor, East Grinstead   
80         Wilson's, Bristol                   
81         The Grill at The Dorchester, London                     
82         Frog by Adam Handling, London   
83         Kota, Porthleven                  
84         Story, London                      
85         Paul Ainsworth at No. 6, Padstow 
86         Clarke’s, London                 
87         Brat, London            
88         Sollip, London                      
89         The Dining Room, The Goring Hotel, London     
90         Myrtle, London        
91         Brat at Climpson's Arch, London               
92         Grand Trunk Road, London           
93         Lake Road Kitchen, Ambleside                 
94         The Dining Room, Whatley Manor, Easton Grey 
95         Club Gascon, London         
96         Sabor, London                     
97         Roots, York              
98         Meadowsweet, Holt            
99         Bibendum, London  
100       Opheem, Birmingham

In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 3rd February 2022

Harden's National Guide 2022: Restaurant Sat Bains, Purnell's and Da Terra shine in Harden's top 100 list